December 27, 2014
S 89°31′ , W 78°48′
Total distance: 971 km
T° : -24°C (windchill: -35°C)
D44 – Report of week 6
It has now been six weeks since we started the expedition. This is the report of week 6.
We kept progressing on the Antarctic Plateau and we finally reached South Pole on December 23 late afternoon as planned. We then took a rest day – almost two actually as we left South Pole on December 25 in the afternoon. We are now on our way to the coast – with more than 1,100 kms to ski.
We were welcomed at the South Pole by the three persons who are running the ALE South Pole base camp – which is located 500 meters from the geographical South Pole and just nearby the Amundsen Scott base – operated by the US.
We went to visit the Amundsen Scott base a couple hours after we arrived at South Pole. The base is working on the New Zealand Time – while we are using Chile Time – so they were 16 hours ahead and it was already Christmas Eve for them. The base is very impressive – fully equiped for 150 persons / scientifics to work in summer time (right now) while app. 50 persons are staying over winter.
We then enjoyed Christmas Eve at the South Pole. We read letters from family and friends and had a great traditional Norvegian Christmas dinner – which we also shared with Canadian explorer Frédéric Dion who had been kiting from the Novo base and arrived at South Pole on December 24 in the afternoon. It was great meeting with him there. This is for sure a Christmas Eve we will remember !
On Dec. 25 we prepared our sledges and equipment for the second part of the expedition and enjoyed lunch and coffee at the base camp before leaving the South Pole. There is still a long way to go but we are very motivated.
We are now looking forward to being out of the Plateau (hopefully by Jan. 1st) and starting the way down to Union Glacier. We will then indeed be skiing down 2800 meters over app. 1,000 kms – but still it should be less difficult than going uphill !